Metro Matters

Metro Matters Across the politics, issues and boundaries that shape our region, we proclaim: our Metro Matters. Metro Matters is a policy research and advocacy organization that works for a stronger, more equitable metro Detroit.
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Operating as usual

04/17/2017

Metro Matters is reorganizing! Check back soon for updates.

Woodward is metro Detroit's Main Street, so it's fitting that it should be the longest Complete Street in the world! #Mo...
10/06/2015
New Plan for Woodward Ave Includes

Woodward is metro Detroit's Main Street, so it's fitting that it should be the longest Complete Street in the world! #MobilityMatters

Photos via Woodward Avenue Action Association A new "Complete Streets" plan for Woodward Avenue include the M-1 Rail, bus rapid transit, and what planners call "a Parisian Boulevard" in a...

A philosopher who embodied her own ideas, Grace Lee Boggs was known as much for her wisdom and ability to love as she wa...
10/05/2015
Grace Lee Boggs, longtime Detroit activist, dies at age 100

A philosopher who embodied her own ideas, Grace Lee Boggs was known as much for her wisdom and ability to love as she was for her civil rights leadership. Metro Detroit is lucky to have benefitted from her decades of influence and activism. She impacted countless lives, who will carry forward her legacy of social justice and progress. She was a revolutionary, and she will be missed.

Grace Lee Boggs, an activist and philosopher known internationally for her work promoting social change, died Monday at her home in Detroit, at age 100.

Many people think Detroit can't be gentrifying because it's too poor or too spacious—but that idea is wrong, says Metro ...
09/28/2015
Say the G-Word: Gentrification in metro Detroit is real

Many people think Detroit can't be gentrifying because it's too poor or too spacious—but that idea is wrong, says Metro Matters research fellow and University of Michigan junior Dominic Russel. In this week's Metromode, Russel writes that gentrification is here and it's regional, and he puts forward policy solutions from places that are actively addressing displacement in all its forms. Check out his column (and learn more about our research at SayTheGWord.com):

Metromatters' Dominic Russel writes that regional collaboration is required to combat the negative effects of gentrification in metro Detroit.

Thank you to all the guests and sponsors who joined with us to proclaim: #OurMetroMatters!
09/15/2015

Thank you to all the guests and sponsors who joined with us to proclaim: #OurMetroMatters!

Thank you to all the guests and sponsors who joined with us to proclaim: #OurMetroMatters!

From the Metro Matters staff to everyone who attended Metromorphosis last night: thank you for making our relaunch a sma...
09/11/2015

From the Metro Matters staff to everyone who attended Metromorphosis last night: thank you for making our relaunch a smashing success! If you missed the event, don't worry—we've got plenty more photos and info on the way.

We'd especially like to thank our wonderful sponsors for making last night possible: UHY Advisors, Internet Essentials from Comcast, Giffels Webster, Level One Bank, Plante Moran, Howard L. Shifman PC, Royal Oak Recycling, and AXA Advisors. And of course we can't forget our in-kind printing and beverage sponsors: PIP Printing and Marketing Services, Arbor Brewing Company, and U.S. Wine Imports.

Last night was a momentous occasion, but the real work is just beginning. #OurMetroMatters

ICYMI: We're changing our name! You might notice things look a little different around here... As we put the final touch...
09/03/2015
Metro Matters: Our Next Evolution | Michigan Suburbs Alliance

ICYMI: We're changing our name! You might notice things look a little different around here... As we put the final touches on our transition to Metro Matters, take a moment to review our original post about why we're changing and what we're planning:

Metro Matters: Our Next Evolution Posted by Conan Smith on February 2, 2015. Tweet More than a decade ago, the Michigan Suburbs Alliance was formed to represent the interests of metro Detroit’s neglected inner ring suburbs. We’ve served those cities by helping them work together when it makes sense…

Metro Matters
09/03/2015

Metro Matters

Metro Detroit is home to wonderful diversity, but remains heavily segregated. We need policies that create opportunity a...
09/02/2015
Map shows just how segregated metro Detroit is

Metro Detroit is home to wonderful diversity, but remains heavily segregated. We need policies that create opportunity and foster better equity, no matter which zip code you call home. #OurMetroMatters

New maps show the racial segregation of America -- and Detroit is "among the most segregated cities in America."

What can other regions teach metro Detroit about transit? Our very own board member Robin Boyle shares his observations:
08/31/2015
World offers Detroit examples of good urban transit

What can other regions teach metro Detroit about transit? Our very own board member Robin Boyle shares his observations:

Transit options elsewhere include inter-city trains, subways, streetcars and trams, buses, bicycle and walking paths.

Are you a mobility enthusiast and a writer? Mode Shift: Move Together needs you! They're looking for freelancers to crea...
08/17/2015

Are you a mobility enthusiast and a writer? Mode Shift: Move Together needs you! They're looking for freelancers to create all kinds of content:

The conversation about gentrification in metro Detroit often stalls because people don't agree on whether it's actually ...
08/11/2015
Say the G-Word: Gentrification in Metro Detroit

The conversation about gentrification in metro Detroit often stalls because people don't agree on whether it's actually an issue in this region. We think it's time for a more productive dialogue. When we say "gentrification", what do we really mean? And what can we do about it?

What gentrification means in metro Detroit, why we need to be talking about it, and what we should be doing about it.

Meet our new mascot, Buddy. He truly works across boundaries--he even likes cats!
08/07/2015

Meet our new mascot, Buddy. He truly works across boundaries--he even likes cats!

Michigan's current county system was conceived about 200 years ago, but our political and cultural realities prevent us ...
08/03/2015
Do we have too many counties?

Michigan's current county system was conceived about 200 years ago, but our political and cultural realities prevent us from substantively rethinking these boundaries. As Brian Dickerson points out, smart regional solutions require us to work across these centuries-old lines to deliver services efficiently and equitably.

Michigan's basic political geography predates cars and computers. Is it too late to rethink it?

Our esteemed former board member, Maxine Berman, is being inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame! Congrats, Max...
07/22/2015
Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame

Our esteemed former board member, Maxine Berman, is being inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame! Congrats, Max!!

The Michigan Women's Historical Center, Hall of Fame, Studies Association

Model D continues their 10 Years of Change series with a look at mobility in the Motor City. As regionalists we're parti...
07/21/2015
10 Years of Change: The evolution of Detroit's non-motorized transportation network

Model D continues their 10 Years of Change series with a look at mobility in the Motor City. As regionalists we're partial to the Inner Circle Greenway, which will connect existing and future paths into a 26-mile loop around Detroit that crosses into Dearborn, Highland Park, and Hamtramck!

In just a decade, Detroit has grown from a city lacking non-motorized transportation options to one with a growing infrastructure for cycling and walking and a nascent bike culture.

We're in the home stretch of our transition from the Michigan Suburbs Alliance to Metro Matters, which means we're now i...
07/20/2015

We're in the home stretch of our transition from the Michigan Suburbs Alliance to Metro Matters, which means we're now into the fun part. Today we received our new stationary. We think it's pretty sharp! #OurMetroMatters

We are thrilled to share that Jeffrey Nolish will be joining our team as part of the 2015-2017 class of Detroit Revitali...
07/16/2015
Detroit Fellows - Wayne State University

We are thrilled to share that Jeffrey Nolish will be joining our team as part of the 2015-2017 class of Detroit Revitalization Fellows. Jeffrey will manage our transportation program area, elevating bold policy solutions around mobility and working to help the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan become a positive force for metro Detroit. Congratulations to all the new Detroit Fellows!

Aja Bonner, Program AssociateHudson-Webber FoundationKalisha Davis, Director of Community Outreach & EngagementDetroit Historical SocietySusan Dundon, Busines Innovation Director - Youth Engery SquadEcoWorksAaron Goodman, Community Engagement ManagerC

Registration is now open for "Experience the Future of Woodward", a first of its kind two-day event hosted by the Woodwa...
07/16/2015
Experience the Future of Woodward

Registration is now open for "Experience the Future of Woodward", a first of its kind two-day event hosted by the Woodward Avenue Action Association. Learn more and reserve your spot for one or both days (we recommend both!):

The Woodward Avenue Action Association invites you to a first of its kind two-day event to celebrate the past and learn about the future of the Woodward Corridor: Experience the Future of Woodward, presented by the DTE Energy Foundation. Register for 1 or both days of the event.

MDOT is seeking your input on the I-94 reconstruction. Do you think more lanes will bolster the economy? Would you like ...
07/15/2015
I-94 MODERNIZATION PROJECT SURVEY

MDOT is seeking your input on the I-94 reconstruction. Do you think more lanes will bolster the economy? Would you like to see pedestrian bridges prioritized? Take this survey to share your opinions:

Web survey powered by SurveyMonkey.com. Create your own online survey now with SurveyMonkey's expert certified FREE templates.

Concentrating poverty in pockets of affordable housing is insufficient, a lesson we are still learning in metro Detroit.
07/13/2015
The End of Federally Financed Ghettos

Concentrating poverty in pockets of affordable housing is insufficient, a lesson we are still learning in metro Detroit.

The Obama administration’s new rules were part of the Fair Housing Act all along but were ignored by governments at all levels.

We couldn't agree more. Water is essential for life -- no matter your income -- so we need to rethink how we provide bas...
07/09/2015
OK rate hike, but think differently on water

We couldn't agree more. Water is essential for life -- no matter your income -- so we need to rethink how we provide basic access for everyone. This is a values issue crying for a municipal finance solution, something the Great Lakes Water Authority could tackle to the significant benefit of metro Detroit.

The Detroit City Council should OK a water-rate increase, but the Great Lakes Water Authority should think differently about how we classify and consume water.

Millennial Mayors Congress representative Brian Hartwell is running for mayor of Madison Heights:
07/01/2015
Hartwell announces Madison Heights mayoral bid

Millennial Mayors Congress representative Brian Hartwell is running for mayor of Madison Heights:

MADISON HEIGHTS — Brian Hartwell, mayor pro tem of Madison Heights, has announced his candidacy for mayor. He will challenge incumbent Ed Swanson in the general election Nov. 3.According to the city charter, a council

The communities who came together to Transform Woodward are nominated for a Michigan Municipal League Community Excellen...
06/30/2015
Transforming Woodward Together - The Journey to Better Transit - Community Excellence Awards

The communities who came together to Transform Woodward are nominated for a Michigan Municipal League Community Excellence Award! Vote today to recognize Berkley, Birmingham, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, and Royal Oak for their collaboration and hard work to create a unified vision for the Woodward Corridor. #OurMetroMatters

Three newly-elected leaders were inspired to advance not only their own communities, but to transform their region. They rallied together, established guiding principles, and formed a collaborative foundation that unified the 27-mile Woodward Ave. corridor around a shared, common vision … Read More

Reminder! Emerging Local Government Leaders Network is holding their first in-person meet up TONIGHT in Royal Oak. Membe...
06/25/2015
Michigan ELGL: Join us on June 25! | Emerging Local Government Leaders Network

Reminder! Emerging Local Government Leaders Network is holding their first in-person meet up TONIGHT in Royal Oak. Members and non-members are welcome, so invite your friends and get ready to mingle with your fellow local gov enthusiasts!

Michigan ELGL: Join us on June 25! June 4, 2015 by Bridget Doyle Michigan ELGL is hosting its first ever in-person meet up this month — and we want you there! Mark your calendars, tell your friends, send your co-workers an Outlook invite. We want to meet you face-to-face, talk local gov and discuss…

Transportation for Michigan (Trans4M) invites you participate in a #MITransportation Month of Action! Read their introdu...
06/16/2015
#MITransportation Month of Action

Transportation for Michigan (Trans4M) invites you participate in a #MITransportation Month of Action! Read their introductory post to learn more about Month of Action events, activities, and ways to get involved:

From June 15 to July 10, passionate advocates will participate in a Transportation Month of Action to tell legislators to find a real solution to our transportation crisis. We invite you to join us as we explore the benefits of funding a robust system with transportation options for all Michiganders…

Metro Detroit made history today as we once again overcame boundaries and politics to act in our shared best interests. ...
06/12/2015

Metro Detroit made history today as we once again overcame boundaries and politics to act in our shared best interests. Congratulations to the many people who worked to formalize the Great Lakes Water Authority, and to the residents of metro Detroit. More info: http://on.freep.com/1IzV4aT #OurMetroMatters #StrongerTogether #WaterMatters

GLWA Board Chair Bob Daddow (Oakland County) talks to the media after today's historic meeting at DWSD's Water Works Park.

We were happy to convene an excellent conversation with Myron Orfield this morning. Thanks to Miller Canfield for hostin...
06/12/2015

We were happy to convene an excellent conversation with Myron Orfield this morning. Thanks to Miller Canfield for hosting, and to the regional leaders who came to the table to talk about municipal finance and equity in metro Detroit.

We cross municipal boundaries every day to work, socialize, shop, eat, and explore the region we call home. In a new ser...
06/11/2015
Examining the borders that unite and divide metro Detroit

We cross municipal boundaries every day to work, socialize, shop, eat, and explore the region we call home. In a new series, Metromode and Model D will examine the changing meaning of metro Detroit's many borders. Don't miss their first installment, including commentary from Conan Smith:

As the city of Detroit recovers from bankruptcy, county power dynamics shift and regional issues like water, sewer, transit, education and energy come to the forefront, the borders that circumscribe metropolitan Detroit will impact an array of impor

From the new Knight Foundation report on local voter drop-off: "[Millennials] have a genuine passion for local issues, b...
06/05/2015
Local Voter Drop-Off

From the new Knight Foundation report on local voter drop-off:
"[Millennials] have a genuine passion for local issues, but many don’t make the connection between these things and local government, so don’t see why voting for local government matters." Do you think the obstacles cited here are accurate? How can we help young people and new residents understand the impact of local government?

Voter turnout in the 2014 midterm elections (36.3 percent) was the lowest it’s been since World War II. Turnout for local elections is even lower, with research showing only 1 in 5 eligible voters show up for mayoral elections.

Today we joined nonprofit leaders from around the state and the Michigan Nonprofit Association for a discussion about di...
06/03/2015

Today we joined nonprofit leaders from around the state and the Michigan Nonprofit Association for a discussion about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We've learned a great deal about the meaning of, difference between, and pathways to diversity and inclusion, and look forward to incorporating these lessons at our organization. There's no doubt that solving our region's shared challenges requires a range of backgrounds, styles, and perspectives!

Congratulations to Issue Media Group on the 10th birthday of Model D! Your family of publications is innovative, insight...
06/02/2015
Celebrating 10 years of Model D with a new series, '10 Years of Change'

Congratulations to Issue Media Group on the 10th birthday of Model D! Your family of publications is innovative, insightful, and inspiring. We look forward to the next ten years and beyond, and for now we're excited to follow the "10 Years of Change" series.

As Model D celebrates its 10th birthday, we're pleased to announce "10 Years of Change," a year-long series of stories and events that will both look back on the transformations that have occurred in Detroit over the last decade and look forward to t

As a society, we spend too much time measuring success in economic terms and not enough assessing the human impact of po...
06/01/2015
Michigan First State To Be Measured By Social Progress Index

As a society, we spend too much time measuring success in economic terms and not enough assessing the human impact of policies. That's why we're excited to see how the Social Progress Index can help Michigan measure and address challenges faced by residents.

Michigan is the first state in the United States to be measured by the Social Progress Index social well-being measurement tool.

Is your community making the most of social media? Join the Emerging Local Government Leaders Network tomorrow for a web...
05/26/2015
You're Invited: Government Social Media Webinar - Emerging Local Government Leaders Network

Is your community making the most of social media? Join the Emerging Local Government Leaders Network tomorrow for a webinar to learn from Facebook's global politics & government outreach manager. Find more details and register here:

Here’s an exciting local government social media training opportunity that’s FREE for ELGL members! Join us for a special Q&A webinar with Katie Harbath – Facebook’s Global Politics and Government Outreach Manager. Katie will cover hot government topics like business manager, verified status and sec…

Crain's checks in with one of our superstar former staffers, Sharon Carney. Sharon continues to work on public policy as...
05/26/2015
Sharon Carney takes regionalism lessons from Detroit to Washington, D.C.

Crain's checks in with one of our superstar former staffers, Sharon Carney. Sharon continues to work on public policy as chief of staff at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. We're proud that she considers her work with the Millennial Mayors Congress valuable—we do, too! #EngagementMatters

Carney is chief of staff at the Urban Institute, one of the foremost urban public policy organizations in the country. She said her work with the Michigan Suburbs Alliance helped shape her public policy career.

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